17 of the Best Audiobooks for Family Road Trips

If you love listening to books while you’re on the road, then we’ve got you covered. Our collection of audiobooks for family road trips includes great titles for kids, teens and adults.

Road trips are an amazing way to spend quality time together as a family. They also provide a great opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and relax.

But sometimes, even the most relaxing road trip can turn into a stressful situation if you don’t plan ahead properly.

We recently took our longest family road trip ever (5 full days down the Pacific Coast Highway) and decided that no electronics would be allowed while in the car.

summer road trip with kids family friendly audiobooks

Yep, ZERO.

We thought this would be a difficult task to accomplish, and it actually wasn’t really with the help of audiobooks…and of course, a ton of road trip snacks for kids.

Our 7-year-old son paid close attention to each story and even shushed us if my husband and I tried to have a conversation over it. 

So, before you hit the road, make sure you have the perfect audiobook for your next road trip.

2016 Kia sorento tow capacity

Our picks for best family audiobooks

If you’re headed out on a family road trip this summer, be sure to be prepared with lots of entertainment for the whole family.

Instead of letting them plug into video games and movies, why not try bonding together some of these best audiobooks for family road trips that everyone will enjoy?

Here is a list of the 17 of the best audiobooks for family road trips to help keep everyone happy and avoid the dreaded question, “Are we there, yet?”.

Be sure to check out our post on the must-haves for surviving any long family road trip as well!

best audiobooks for family road trips

My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish by Mo O’Hara

When Tom’s big brother decides to become an Evil Scientist, his first experiment involves dunking Frankie the goldfish into toxic green gunk. Tom knows that there is only one thing to do: Zap the fish with a battery and bring him back to life!

But there’s something weird about the new Frankie. He’s now a Big Fat Zombie Goldfish with hypnotic powers… and he’s out for revenge!

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Charlotte’s Web is a classic story of a young girl named Fern Arable who lives with her parents on a farm. She has two brothers and one sister. One day Fern’s father finds out that there is a piglet left over from a litter of pigs born at the farm. He wants to kill it because he thinks it is too small. But Fern convinces him to let her keep the pig and names him Wilbur.

Wilbur grows up and becomes a good friend to Fern. The father know’s that Wilbur will eventually be slaughtered one day so to make it less painful to Fern, he decides to sell him to Mr. Zuckerman. Although fern visits Wilbur often, he is lonely and looking to make new friends.

He finds a great friend in Charlotte the Spider who tells Wilbur about the meaning of life, and how it’s important to live every day as if it was your last. Charlotte also comes up with a great plan to hopefully keep Wilbur from being slaughtered in the winter.

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Narrated by a very entertaining Jim Dale, the Harry Potter audiobook series captured the interest of our 7-year-old for our entire 5-day Summer road trip from Seattle to Los Angeles. I’ll be honest, it had us parents hooked as well.

harry potter hogwarts

Even if you’ve already seen the movies, you will thoroughly enjoy the audiobooks. We are *still* listening to them daily during times like folding laundry or just snuggling on the couch!

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

The story of Bud, Not Buddy is set in 1936 Flint, Michigan. Ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but he’s on a mission. His momma never told him who his father was, but she left a clue: posters of Herman E. Calloway and his band. Bud’s got an idea that those posters will lead to his father.

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

When James Henry Trotter accidentally drops some magic crystals by the old peach tree, strange things start to happen. The peach at the top of the tree begins to grow, and before long it’s as big as a house. Then James discovers a secret entranceway into the fruit.

When he crawls inside, he meets a bunch of marvelous oversized friends—Old-Green-Grasshopper, Centipede, Ladybug, Miss Spider, and more. After years of feeling like an outsider in the house of his despicable Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker, James has finally found a place where he belongs. With a snip of the stem, the peach starts rolling away, and the exciting adventure of James and the Giant Peach begins!

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

Kyle Keeley is a huge fan of every kind of kids game. When the world’s most creative game maker, Luigi Lemoncello, becomes the designer for his town’s new library, Kyle is thrilled when he wins the chance to spend the night in the new building.

However, in the morning Kyle and the other contest winners cannot get out of the building, and they must solve every clue to this ultimate game to Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library.

Stuart Little by E.B. White

A daring mouse known as Stuart sets out on an adventure into the world. He is trying to find his best friend, a bird that briefly stayed with Stuart and his family. Even if you’ve seen the movie, the Stuart Little audiobook is still worth a listen.

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Jim Hawkins finds a map that is supposed to lead to buried treasure, and he decides to follow it. He embarks on an incredible journey where he meets plenty of colorful characters that lead him down a road of mysteries and clues that keep him guessing until the very end. Is there a Treasure Island? Listen and find out!

treasure map

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

A journalist and fiction author, Tom Angleberger has a knack for capturing the lives of today’s youth. In The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, socially awkward Dwight shows up to school one morning waving a green finger puppet.

Strange enough, but then Dwight starts talking in a funny voice and doling out advice. Is it the puppet, or is it Dwight? And will paper Yoda be able to help Dwight convince the girl of his dreams to go to the big dance with him?

Frindle by Andrew Clements

Is Nick Allen a troublemaker? He really just likes to liven things up at school — and he’s always had plenty of great ideas. When Nick learns some interesting information about how words are created, suddenly he’s got the inspiration for his best plan ever…the frindle. Who says a pen has to be called a pen? Why not call it a Frindle?

Things begin innocently enough as Nick gets his friends to use the new word. Then other people in town start saying frindle. Soon the school is in an uproar, and Nick has become a local hero. His teacher wants Nick to put an end to all this nonsense, but the funny thing is frindle doesn’t belong to Nick anymore. The new word is spreading across the country, and there’s nothing Nick can do to stop it.

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

In the Pacific, there is an island that looks like a big fish sunning itself in the sea. Around it, blue dolphins swim, otters play, and sea elephants and sea birds abound. Once, Indians also lived on the island. And when they left and sailed to the east, one young girl was left behind. This is the story of Karana, the Indian girl who lived alone for years on the Island of the Blue Dolphins.

best audiobooks for family road trips

Year after year, she watched one season pass into another and waited for a ship to take her away. But while she waited, she kept herself alive by building a shelter, making weapons, finding food, and fighting her enemies, the wild dogs. It is not only an unusual adventure of survival but also a tale of natural beauty and personal discovery.

Savvy by Ingrid Law

A vibrant new voice . . . a modern classic. For generations, the Beaumont family has harbored a magical secret. They each possess a “Savvy”—a special supernatural power that strikes when they turn thirteen. Grandpa Bomba moves mountains, her older brothers create hurricanes and spark electricity . . . and now it’s the eve of Mibs’s big day. As if waiting weren’t hard enough, the family gets scary news two days before Mibs’s birthday: Poppa has been in a terrible accident.

Mibs develops the singular mission to get to the hospital and prove that her new power can save her dad. So she sneaks onto a salesman’s bus . . . only to find the bus heading in the opposite direction. Suddenly Mibs finds herself on an unforgettable odyssey that will force her to make sense of growing up—and of other people, who might also have a few secrets hidden just beneath the skin.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Like every other hobbit, Bilbo Baggins likes nothing better than a quiet evening in his snug hole in the ground, dining on a sumptuous dinner in front of a fire. But when a wandering wizard captivates him with tales of the unknown, Bilbo becomes restless.

hobbiton movie set

Soon, he joins the wizard’s band of homeless dwarves in search of giant spiders, savage wolves, and other dangers. Bilbo quickly tires of the quest for adventure and longs for the security of his familiar home. But before he can return to his life of comfort, he must face the greatest threat of all – a treasure-troving dragon named Smaug. The Hobbit is an epic adventure that will capture the attention of the adults as much as the kids.

Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

Flora and Ulysses begins, as the best superhero stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences. The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman, who has read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You!, is just the right person to step in and save him.

What neither can predict is that Ulysses (the squirrel) has been born anew, with powers of strength, flight, and misspelled poetry. Flora will be changed too, as she discovers the possibility of hope and the promise of a big heart.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school – until now. He’s about to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be.

The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances? In Wonder, R. J. Palacio has crafted an uplifting novel full of wonderfully realistic family interactions, lively school scenes, and writing that shines with spare emotional power.

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

When Miyax walks out onto the frozen Alaskan tundra, she hopes she is leaving problems at home far behind. Raised in the ancient Eskimo ways, Miyax knows how to take care of herself. But as bitter Arctic winds efface the surface of food, she begins to fear for her life, and turns to a pack of wild wolves for help.

Amaroq, the leader of the pack, eventually accepts Miyax as one of his own defenseless cubs, protecting her from danger and saving portions of the daily kill for her. But as Miyax makes her way nearer to civilization in Julie of the Wolves, her life with the wolves, as well as all that she has come to learn about herself, are challenged as never before.

The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss

A horrible tempest hurls an abandoned ship against the shoal rocks with the force of a hurricane. Once the tremendous storm passes, a family appears from within the crushed vessel. Now a father, a mother, and their four sons must carve out a new life for themselves on an uncharted tropical island.

Come and join The Swiss Family Robinson, as they learn how to survive while battling the savage forces of nature and discover the wonders of their own paradise.

What are some of your favorite audiobooks for family road trips?

Road Trip Activity Kit

Road trips are fun, but they also require a lot of planning. If you’re looking for ways to keep your children entertained while traveling, here’s a simple printable road trip activity pack full of games, puzzles, DIY comic pages, a journal and more.

road trip activity kit for kids

It even includes a fun map to that will help them navigate and record the journey ahead! This is a great way to make sure your child has something constructive to do in the car on their next long drive with you or when you take them camping.

Our 50 page jumbo road trip or travel activity kit for kids has 11 different fun activities and games to keep the family entertained on a long road trip. While kids can work on many of these on their own, some can be played with multiple people so siblings and parents can join in on the fun too.

Pages include:

  • 2 Page Destination Journal to keep memories of favorite parts of the trip and all the fun that was had!
  • Travel Word Search Puzzle + Answer Sheet
  • US Map to trace your route and color in any states visited
  • Alphabet challenge game (can be played as a challenge against others)
  • Learn to draw a silly child step-by-step
  • Comic book page blanks – make a comic about your road trip adventures
  • Road Trip Scavenger hunt (print out multiples so everyone can play!)
  • Dots and Boxes game sheets
  • Would you rather questions
  • Connect Four game sheets
  • Tic Tac Toe game sheets

Don’t want to print all the pages or want to print more of just one or two activities? Just use your computer’s print dialog to choose exactly which pages you want to print and choose multiple copies of the pages you want more of.

printable road trip activity kit

16 thoughts on “17 of the Best Audiobooks for Family Road Trips”

  1. My kids’ favorite thing to do on road trips is read books. These featured here are some really great suggestions! I’ll have to get these for them for our next road trip!

    Reply
  2. Such an AMAZING list! I’ve read some of those, but always looking for more. Plus, many would be a totally new experience on tape.

    Reply
  3. What a great list of audiobooks. I have only listened to a few, but I guess I could use more of them so I can “read” a book while doing housework. Thanks for the suggestions. I am checking them out.

    Reply
  4. I have always loved Charlotte’s Web so much! I have a free Audible subscription and would really love to get this book.

    Reply
  5. What a great list of audio books! I love to listen to books when we are on a road trip. It makes the time go by much faster!

    Reply
  6. Awesome suggestions! Thank you for sharing these! We will travel next week and I’ll definitely use these!

    Reply
  7. Those books were perfect for my kids who are 12 and 16. Wel ove Roald Dahl and have never read the Harry Potter books so that would be perfect on a trip to pass the time.

    Reply
  8. I have to say, we’ve fallen down on listening to audio books. This definitely reminds me of how much we used to love them.

    Reply
  9. We love audio books! I was running out of ones we hadn’t listed to though. I’ve not heard of most of these! Thank you!

    Reply
  10. These are great picks. I’ve never thought of children’s audio books for road tripping. This is awesome!

    Reply

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